.30 Carbine ballistic test


Not too long ago the good people at MKS Supply sent me a new Inland M1 Carbine to review, you can read that review here. In researching the rifle and cartridge I learned that is was not considered the man stopper as the larger caliber rifles but as a carbine it sure was handy.

As with other calibers such as the 9mm Luger, ammunition technology has come a long way since the cartridge’s inception.  So, I thought while I had the rifle handy, test ammunition left over, and freshly melted ballistic gel why not see what a difference the newer defensive type ammunition makes. I used all the same rounds from the accuracy test including original Lake City Match .30 Carbine.

First a little history on the cartridge.

U.S. Army specified for a new cartridge to be greater than .27, with an effective range of at least 300 yards. Based on the Army’s specifications Edwin Pugsley of Winchester begin with a .30 caliber, 100–120 grain bullet at a velocity of 2,000 feet per second. Initially cartridges were made by turning down rims on .32SL cases and loaded with .30 caliber bullets. The first 100,000 cartridges were headstamped “.30 SL”.

The .30 Carbine (or 7.62×33) was introduced in the 1940s and was designed for the M1 Carbine and an eighteen inch barrel.  The .30 Carbine was developed by Winchester and is similar to the .32 Winchester Self-Loading cartridge in .30 caliber. Though they developed the cartridge they did not immeditally submit a carbine for testing.

The M1 Carbine appeals to re-enactments as well as sporting and collecting, not to mention recreational use.  As a sporting cartridge it is good for small and medium-game and at best marginal for deer-size game. In carbines full metal jacket bullets do not expand must if at all but with the introduction to jacketed soft point and Critical Defense the .30 Carbine has gained a bit of an edge. Standard .30 carbine full metal jacket bullet weighs in at 110 grains. The .30 Carbine generates about half the muzzle energy of the typical .30-30 Winchester so it is not an ideal cartridge for many sporting purposes on larger animals.

30 Carbine Ballistic test


Though all the full metal jacket penetrated through 3 layers and 32 inches of ballistic gel, I had two round that did well for expansion and not going through both blocks of gel, The Hornady Critical Defense and Federal jacketed soft point.

So, yet another round has benefited from advanced bullet technology to make it a more viable defensive round.


For those keeping score, that is another twenty some rounds through the Inland M1 Carbine without trouble, I realize an additional twenty rounds is not that much more to report but I am including all the information from the ballistic test in this article, including round count.

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

9 thoughts on “.30 Carbine ballistic test”
    1. I own two M1 carvings both originals. One an Inland, the other an IBM. I have shot thousands of rounds through them, mostly reloads. I have never tried the more exotic bullets. I was surprised by the penetration of both the eround nose and Spire point.
      The only negative thing I have to say about the new Inland manufactured carbine is you can’t use them in the CMP 30 carbine matches run by the CMP.

  1. In the 7-1/2 inch Ruger Blackhawk revolver the .30 Carbine cartridge gives ballistics similar to the 762×25 Tokarev fied in the TT33:

    JACKETED .30 Caliber Carbine Ammunition In Revolver and Rifle

    Ammunition__________Ruger NMBH 7-1/2”________US Inland M1 Carbine 1943

    LC44 Ball M1__________1586 fps , 20 Sd, 46 ES____1981 fps, 20 Sd, 56 ES
    WCC44 Ball M1________1527, 21, 58_____________1960, 23, 89
    PPU 110-gr.SP_________1321, 30, 84_____________1903, 25, 84
    Norma 110-gr. SP_______1490, 35, 96_____________1960, 18, 59
    W-W 110-gr. HSP_______1300, 29, 79_____________1894, 18, 63
    Federal 110-gr. SP______1414, 22, 54_____________1959, 16, 56

    Column Means________1439 fps Avg. REVOLVER___1943 fps Avg. CARBINE

    Avg. velocity increase of carbine over revolver = +504 fps

    1. L have found the carbine with hand loads using the 90 gr hornady xtp projectile is very effective. I load them with h110 and get 2300 FPS and we’ll over 1000 FPE. Plus over penetration is unlikely but not a complete promise.I believe the energy transfer is the most important aspect and few can match the little carbine. A former Marine Semore Fi

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